Ottawa, Ont. January 9, 2015 - Canadian endurance riders, Kathy Irvine of Blackfoot, Alta. and Jessica Manness of Oakbank, Man., were honoured with an invitation to compete in His Highness Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's 8th Annual Endurance Cup beginning January 10, 2015 at 6:30 a.m. UAE time. This invitation-only event is an FEI 3* 160km race across the sandy Dubaï desert patterns.
Passing their first inspection, Irvine and Nightwind's Savannah, her 16-year-old Canadian bred Arabian mare sired by Dakotas Keyanti, along with Manness and Greater Glide (Flaming Tigre X Flaming Streak), her 13-year-old Arabian gelding, are looking forward to this incredible opportunity to let their horses shine against some of the leading international riders.
The team arrived in stages; Irvine, Manness and the horses arrived in mid-December to acclimatize and get in some cross-training on the new terrain. Sand dunes, gravel and dry temperatures reaching up 30 degrees Celsius become new challenges for the team as they prepare themselves and the horses for the race.
Once the remaining of the crew arrived in the New Year they became familiar with the horses and crew stations. The competition requires everyone to be vigilant for the safety and performance of the riders and horses. The professional support team members accompanying the riders are grooms, Denise Blanchet and Dessia Miller; Canadian Endurance Team Veterinarian, Dr. Glenn Sinclair; and Canadian Endurance Team Coach/Technical Advisor, Kim Woolley.
Detailed biographies for Irvine and Manness and the crew are available on the Endurance Canada International Biographies webpage.